Man do I envy folks who somehow manage the patience to watch Jessica Jones for 13 weeks. The first episode already made that prospect highly dubious, but the second episode has me concerned sleep may get skipped altogether this weekend.
Ready to stand up against Kilgrave (David Tennant), Jessica is searching for any weakness in her mind-controlling enemy. To start, she tries to make some headway with the now incarcerated Hope, who somewhat fairly blames Jessica for not making sure Kilgrave was dead.
Through a flashback, we see Jessica fighting Kilgrave’s influence and distracting him enough that he wanders into a street and get hit by a bus. The bus crash looked a bit off, but I wasn’t certain if that was intentional as Jessica’s memory was incomplete or some shaky special effects. Either way, Kilgrave was seriously wounded and Jessica presumed he was dead.
Knowing Hope is innocent, Jessica pleads with Jeri to represent her. I know Jessica stumbling onto Nelson & Murdoch would have been too cutesy a moment and cutting the legs from under the new series to work in a Dardevil cast cameo, but it is the interconnected Marvel Cinematic Universe after all.
Jessica’s private investigator background has already proven to be a great way to distinguish her from other TV comic characters. She doesn’t need a team of helpers and handles situations just fine on her own.
Her investigation leads to the poor ambulance worker who Kilgrave commanded to give both his kidneys. The worker’s mother is a portrayed as a clueless religious nut perfectly fine that her son is in a coma-like state. I really wish Hollywood screenwriters would write Christians with as much sensitivity as they do the gay and lesbian community. About 90% less stereotypical fanatic would make for a great start.
Jessica eventually tracks down the doctor who performed the kidney transplant and he reveals that Kilgrave didn’t want to be anesthetized, which Jessica concludes would neutralize his mind-control power.
She’ll need to hurry up and find him as Kilgrave takes control of a family and makes himself at home. I’m wondering if this apartment overlooks Jessica’s office, which would significantly raise the creeper stalker vibe. Kilgrave is already establishing himself as a worthy successor to Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin on Daredevil as a riveting villain equally as compelling as the lead character.
I was glad to see screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg immediately work on tearing down Jessica’s emotional walls as 13 episodes of her being a cold, callous character would get old quick.
On the subplot front, we get some significant development on Jessica’s relationship with her best friend Trish. Worried Kilgrave would use her or Trish to harm the other, Jessica doesn’t want her closest friend to get hurt or be used by Kilgrave. So often we hear the “oh I don’t want my friends to get close to me because my enemies would come for them,” but in Jessica’s case, she’s got a point.
Trish isn’t sitting back meekly though as she’s getting some disarming and fighting tactics, which explains earlier why her assistant told her to put her jacket on. Trish in the Marvel Comics is the hero Hellcat and I’m hoping eventually (maybe Season 2?) we get to see her in costumed action.
The only real thud of a moment came with the realization that Jessica’s bickering neighbors, fraternal twins Reuben (Kieran Mulcare) and Robyn (Colby Minifie) are going to be recurring characters. Thus far the show hadn’t bothered sticking to any conventional elements so the needless addition of goofy neighbors was disappointing.
While speaking to the police about Hope, Det. Wacks (Clarke Peters) reveals they searched through her office and found pictures of the bar owner Luke Cage so officers went to speak with him. Trying to do damage control, Jessica apologies for the pictures and informs him his latest fling is married.
Luke promptly cuts her as he has no time for drama — I’m digging how much Mike Colter is nailing the Luke Cage “can’t be bothered with this crap” attitude I’ve always envisioned he would have in real life.
Tipped off that his wife is having an affair, the husband storms Luke’s bar, backed with some of his rugby pals. Jessica lends a hand, but quickly discovers Luke doesn’t need any assistance as he takes a broken bottle to the neck without flinching or bleeding.
Luke comes to Jessica’s office to confront her about her powers, but ends up demonstrating his own superhuman abilities as he takes a power sander against his bare skin before it conks out. His skin? Undamaged. And for a very rare moment in this early season, Jessica is speechless. The question now is where does Jessica go from here?
Rating: 9 out of 10
Photo Credit: MYLES ARONOWITZ/NETFLIX
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